Normal Monday mornings for our DTE Corporate Communications team involves meetings, coffee and emails. Our Monday morning on August 1 was far from normal.

Dressed in our red DTE Care Force Volunteer shirts, we gathered at a church on the near east side of Detroit to help clean up a few blocks. Weeds were knocked down, brush was cut, sod was removed from sidewalks and debris was picked up to make the area around the church more inviting and safer for the people who worship there.

While the change in the neighborhood was apparent, the impact on our team was more subtle. We were all involved in activities that are very different from our daily routine, so it sparked different conversations. For example, I learned that one co-worker had just returned from a two-week vacation where she was part of the camera crew for a show taped at the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.

Just as importantly, we were all able to experience a big win together, which coincides well with a core DTE Energy value, We Play to Win Together as a Team. Helping a neighborhood progress toward the future they envision while stretching out of our comfort zones, and doing it safely, helped us all learn a little more about how we can work together in our day-to-day lives effectively.

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